Nik Brindley

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since Mar 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Nik Brindley

Judith Browning wrote:I grow and gather a lot of dye plants and materials but I think my all time favorite is a variety of cosmos called 'Bright Lights'.  
The flowers can be used either fresh or dried and make a beautiful orange on wool.  I pick them weekly over the summer and they bloom prolifically on into fall.

They attract so many butterflies and other pollinators...that alone would be a great reason to grow them.  The plants are quite tall and can be bushy.






not sure I've attached the photos I intended...a crocheted wool blanket with all natural dyes...the cosmos flower dye being the orange one.  
and the second image should be our garden.  The cosmos are the orange and yellow flowers, smaller than the deeper orange/red Mexican sunflowers.

and they make prolific seed that is easy to save and share....I would be happy to send a small handful to anyone in the states who would like to try them?


What a beautiful blanket you've made, Judith and your garden looks amazing. You know I have quite a few cosmos seeds, not sure of the colours as they've been sent by a friend. I think they're mainly pink. But I'm gonna get planting them! I'm in Spain so they'll grow in no time. Thanks for the information and photos.


3 years ago

Rebecca Blake wrote:I'd love to try making my own fabric one day... but that project seems a bit out of my league for right now so I thought maybe I could start with growing my own natural dye.

So, I want to hear it... what's your favorite thing to grow for dye?
What part of the plant are you using and what color does it give? (any pics of your own work...?)

I need more flowers for my garden so I figured planting some that would make good dyes would be smart!


Natural dyes really interest me with the idea of dyeing my naturally grown linen. The cochineal beetle is popular over here and that's gonna be my first call. It is all over cactus' and available all along the road side.
It would also help clean up an unsightly mess.
3 years ago

Cat Knight wrote:I'm super interested in this topic because I'm allergic to both feathers and wool, but I love to crochet. <3


Me too. I've been researching this recently and would like to make more of my clothes from linen.
Welcome! The book sounds great!
3 years ago
I did an experiment with DE a couple of years back. I put some in a glass jar and added ticks, fleas and as luck would have it I caught one of those enormous Asian wasps in a tin with a plastic lid, which also had DE in it. Well it was lucky I caught it and that it didn't sting me and kill me.
The DE killed everything I am pleased to inform you all. That Asian wasp was annoyed and took a while to die but it did eventually. Gave me nightmares
I use DE on all of my 5 dogs and 3 cats.
Plus I made some into a paste and put it on my itchy toes and it immediately soothed them and the itching stopped. I've since put it on insect bites and spots and it seems to stop any irritation.
Oh yeah and I've used it as a toothpaste powder mixed with activated charcoal and I quite like it.
So, its a thumbs up from me.
3 years ago

Irene Kightley wrote:Nice one Nik!

We eat the flowers straight from the garden or in salads or for whatever platter tastes great but needs a colour boost and a bit of fun.
The leaves dry really quickly, you crumble them and store them in airtight jars and use them in a salt mix or "straight" to give an interesting peppery taste to food.



They grow fast, are beautiful, edible, fill spaces beautifully, climb when they have to.

Grow them.


Thanks Irene, I'm gonna give that ago!  :)
4 years ago
Haven't tried them yet but thought this post needed some colour photos.
4 years ago